On this day Age Safe Canada joins the world in voicing our opposition to elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation. Today, we mark the eleventh observance of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day in our nation and around the world.
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) was launched by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations. The purpose of WEAAD is to provide an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect. Working together, we can build the social supports that can prevent this abuse
We recognize that it is up to all of us, as a community to ensure the right social structures are in place so people can remain connected to their communities and to society as a whole, reducing the likelihood of abuse. Through evidence based policies, initiatives, education and civic engagement, we can create a sturdy social structure.
Elder abuse is a growing concern in Canada, with data showing that reported cases have almost doubled in the past 10 years. The security of senior citizens is of particular concern in Canada, which has a large cohort of people who are seniors or soon will soon be. Almost 25 per cent of the population, around eight million people, will be 65 or older by 2031, based on Statistics Canada data. Once a hidden problem, elder abuse is increasingly being reported to authorities and the media.
While some progress has been made in stemming the tide of elder abuse and financial exploitation, there is so much that we still must accomplish. So, on this World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, we ask all Canadians to join Age Safe Canada to help prevent and combat all forms of elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation.